A judge has set Feb. 13 to start the trial of the Justice Department's lawsuit to block AT&T's $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA.
U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle seemed swayed by AT&T's request that the trial, expected to take six weeks, begin as soon as possible because uncertainty "clouds" business decisions that need to be made. The Justice Department wanted more time to prepare its case.
Justice argues the merger that would create the nation's largest wireless phone carrier would lead to higher wireless prices, less innovation and fewer choices for consumers.
Competitor Sprint Nextel had asked to join the case for pre-trial discovery to coordinate its own antitrust suit against the deal. But Huvelle denied that request. She said bringing in another party would slow the case.